Crohn's Disease Forum » Parents of Kids with IBD » Virtual School vs. Home School vs. Regular Elementary School -- Advice/Experiences please!

01-16-2014, 09:56 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2014
Virtual School vs. Home School vs. Regular Elementary School -- Advice/Experiences please!

Hi all,

I am new to the forum and relatively new to being the mom of a Crohn's patient. We are investigating educational options for our son with Crohn's and were excited to find this forum. We'd love to hear about your experiences with virtual schools (e.g., we've being looking at Connections Academy, k12, etc.) vs. traditional home schooling vs. "regular" elementary schools. If you tried virtual/cyber schooling in a particular state (we're in the USA), we'd love to hear about the opportunities for socialization/whether they were well run, etc. Any advice is appreciated! Thanks in advance for your replies!
01-16-2014, 10:26 AM   #2
Jmrogers4's Avatar
Welcome Binchy,
Tagging kimmidwife and carolinalaska, they home school their daughters and may have some resources for you even though they are no longer elementary age.
No experience with virtual/home school myself. We have done well with regular school along with a 504 plan.
How old is your daughter?

Mom to Jack (18) dx Crohn's 2/2010
Remicade - started 1/9/14; 7.5ml/kg every 6 weeks
Past meds: Imuran/Azathioprine; allopurinol; methotrexate; LDN; Prednisone; Apriso; Pentasa; EEN

Husband dx Crohn's 3/1993
currently none due to liver issues
01-16-2014, 10:53 AM   #3
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Sascot's Avatar
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Location: Falkirk, United Kingdom

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Hi, my son has stayed in regular school since diagnosis. I just keep in close contact with the teachers, mainly through his form teacher. Whenever he is off school, I email to let them know and they send any work/homework through to me to print off. So far they have been great.
01-16-2014, 11:55 AM   #4
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CrohnsKidMom's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: (Canada), Nova Scotia

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Welcome to the forum! My kids are in public school, so I don't have any personal experience with homeschooling or virtual schooling. But, I do know several families who homeschool. I know they belong to a homeschool association so that they can do field trips and events with other homeschooling families. Sometimes there seems to be some good perks!
01-17-2014, 10:57 AM   #5
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Location: Southern USA

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We homeschool and I love the flexibility that it gives. I like being on our own schedule. When E has a bad week, we can lighten up or reschedule. I end up schooling almost year round with him to fit it all in. I know that plenty of people use public or private school with crohn's though.
Mom to 4 incredible kids ~ 17, 15, 13, & 7
Including Incredible "E" ~ 15 year old Crohn's kid
Diagnosed at 11.
Enteral Nutrition
01-17-2014, 11:14 AM   #6
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: St. Louis, MO

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My daughter is at a school who works very closely with us when she needs to be out for doctor's appointments or travel for second opinions, etc. She also has had temporary home schooling. We used Greenways Academy which I would recommend. It worked very well for her. She also supplemented w/in person tutoring.
Mom to 18 yr old daughter, M, dx'd Crohn's April 2013
TI resection surgery June 2013
supplements=Vit D, L-Glutamine, Omega D, Probiotic, Curcumin
01-17-2014, 02:18 PM   #7
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Location: Tipperary, Ireland

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Lucy started main stream school this year and has a special needs assistant who is ther to assist her if she has issues with her bms. So it works well for her.
01-17-2014, 08:57 PM   #8
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Location: Michigan

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Hi and welcome.
I've done both. I loved home schooling. I did a couple of years but it was nice to have and teach my kids.
Now my kids go to a private school. We love it there. Plus the teacher is one of my friends. She is a great teacher .
I'm mom to............... Little Farm Girl 9 yr old
Ibd (microscopic)
dx Juvenile Arthritis
dx Erthema Nodosum
Bladder and Bowel Dysfunction
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome dx (1/26/17)
Remicade started on (9/8/14)Every 2 wks
MTX started AGAIN on 11/21/17
EN/EEN- since (1/12/13)
Past Meds- LDN, Humira, Pred, MTX, Sulfasalazine,
01-19-2014, 09:39 PM   #9
my little penguin
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We do public school . DS has a 504 plan.
The school works with us for DS's issues .
DS - -Crohn's -Stelara -mtx
01-20-2014, 11:44 PM   #10
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We homeschool and for us it has been the right path. We tried the local virtual public school last year but my daughter did not enjoy it. This year we are doing a mix of different programs I found in research. For social activities we joined several local homeschool groups and participate in many of The activities. I don't think my daughter at this time could handle the stress of a regular school so this has been great for us.

Crohn's Dx'ed Sept 08
Allerg Imuran Sept 08
Fail Remicade Jan 09
Methotrex Oct 09-Aug 11
Pentasa stopped - nosebleeds
EENOct 31 - Nov 28th. Too hard!
Retried Remicade Dec 11
Stopped due 2 Anaphylactic Reaction
LDN Jan 2012-June 2014 Got My daughter back!
New secondary diagnosis: Gastroporesis Dec 2013
Lost remission June 2014
Started Entyvio April 2015. Decreased to every 4 weeks October 2015. Praying for remission.
01-21-2014, 02:28 PM   #11
Senior Member
My daughter attends a charter school (public) that specializes in technology. It is an amazing school and her teacher this year is fabulous. The school has very strict attendance policies which has been our only issue thus far. We have our first 504 meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning and I'm hoping that prevents any other issues from arising. My daughter loves school and I think the socialization and rigorous (but interesting) work has actually been a benefit to her health. She has a reason to get up every morning and make an effort, despite how she feels.
A is 13

Diagnoses: Immune Dysfunction, Hypogammaglobulinemia, Asthma, Allergies, Intestinal Lymphangiectasia

Treatment: Hizentra, Advair, Zyrtec, Cellcept
02-01-2014, 03:07 AM   #12
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Location: North Central, Illinois

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Jaedyn has been homeschooling since just before we got a diagnosis in the fall of 2012. The stress of her private school starting junior high was just not helping her health. She was 5'1" and 68 lbs - having full on flare of Crohn's (we just didn't know what it was). We brought her home and it gave all the flexibility to turn off the stress and let her find herself, get her health back, and learn to enjoy learning again. She has thrived with the relaxed atmosphere. We use a local public school charter (Connections), but it is still up to me to choose the curriculum, give the guidance and grade her papers, etc. We're thinking of putting her into another public charter school this spring that lets the kids learn at their pace and will do all the curriculum choices, guidance and grading for me... I'm just nervous that the stress of the change will set her back in her health, she is still struggling to gain weight...

I hope that helps. Let me know if I can answer any other questions.
J's story:
*J, 18, Crohn's diagnosis 1-2013 (age13), intermittent NG feedings nightly.
Osteoporosis/osteopenia, Scoliosis, EDS, Asthma, Epilepsy, Hla B-27 positive, gluten intolerant, thrombophlebitis, c.diff, depression, anxiety, postural tachycardia/POTS and multiple food allergies.

Last edited by CarolinAlaska; 02-01-2014 at 03:27 AM.
02-01-2014, 02:04 PM   #13
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Northern California, USA
I homeschooled my twins (one CDer and one not) for 6th and 7th grade. My CDer had missed over half of 4th and half of 5th grade and our school district was not providing appropriate home teaching - just threatening us a lot because they felt he should be going to school and I was letting him stay home instead. Doctor's notes and hospitalizations didn't phase them. It was hell on him and on me so I pulled him out and homeschooled him through a public charter program here in the Sacramento, CA area.

His twin sister has serious LD's and the school district was not helping her at all. Instead she had a 5th grade teacher who didn't believe in LD's and gave her F's every week on all her spelling and math. She was being emotionally destroyed so I puller her out too.

It had good points and bad points. The good ones have been mentioned by others - freedom of schedule, reduced stress, ability to choose among hundreds of academic programs/approaches.

The bad points from my experience had to do with the social part. By the end of the 2nd year my kids had had enough of each other and of me and things were tense a lot due to that disharmony. We didn't have the money to do a lot of the nicer homeschool programs that helped get the kids out of the house and into activities with their peers.

I also found the homeschool community here to be very rigid in some ways. Here there are mostly distinct groups that have a philosophical basis for homeschooling. If you don't fit in - you don't fit in. We found ourselves on the outside looking in both philosophically and geographically. And the older they get the harder it becomes to bridge those gaps I think. It's one thing when they are all just little kids playing on the swings. It's another when they're teens.

And you need to be ready to manage the program if you choose to homeschool. I found it difficult to be effective with two very different learners with very different needs and a schedule that was frequently disrupted by health issues, including my own.

I think using a stand alone curriculum, if you have a child with no LD's, is a very good solution. Whether a virtual school is good I can't say. Some kids do well working on a computer for hours and others do not. It may be a matter of trial and error.

I will say that my son has lasting gaps in his knowledge from those lost months of 4th and 5th grade math. So my only other advice is not to wait if you think you're going to homeschool or if the school is not actively teaching him to the extent he's able to be a student. Begin HSing or give the school a deadline (like 2 weeks) and then insist on improved services for him.

A lot depends on how sick he is/has been.
Badger, 18, CD, overall great guy
Dxd age 10, 2006 after nearly 1 year of active sx
Current CD meds: Remicade, Methotrexate and Omeprazole, Vit. D, Calcium, Folic Acid, Probiotic

Nothing I say here should be construed as medical advice. I am not a doctor. These are just my opinions.
04-28-2014, 07:34 PM   #14
Vinny's mom
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Location: Lake Zurich, Illinois

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Does anyone know of a great accredited online high school program? I want to make sure my son can get the credits he needs just incase he wants to go back to regular school next year?
04-28-2014, 08:11 PM   #15
my little penguin
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Stanford university has an accredited online high school .
04-28-2014, 08:38 PM   #16
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Location: St. Louis, MO

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We used Greenways Academy when M was in 9th grade. She transferred back to school w/all of her credits.

Crohn's Disease Forum » Parents of Kids with IBD » Virtual School vs. Home School vs. Regular Elementary School -- Advice/Experiences please!
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